Hybrid Solar Eclipse: What is it and how does it happen?
A hybrid solar eclipse is a very rare and strange astronomical event — one that will happen soon on April 20, 2023.
Talk to most eclipse chasers and they’ll tell you there are three types solar eclipse. The first is a partial eclipse of the most common and least impressive because The moon just blocks part of sun sending a shadow—the penumbra—across a strip of Earth. The second is an annular solar eclipse, in which the moon blocks the center of the sun but leaves a circle of light from the sun visible from inside a shadow called an antumbra. It is often called the “ring of fire”. The third is a total solar eclipse, in which the entire disk of the sun is blocked by the moon, revealing the spectacular view of the sun’s corona that can be seen with the naked eye from the moon’s dark shadow, the umbra.
However, there is an intriguing fourth type of solar eclipse – a hybrid solar eclipse – that only happens a few times a century. It is a combination of the other three types, but it is also impossible to experience in all its glory. As luck would have it, there would be the next solar eclipse to happen on The Earth it will be a hybrid solar eclipse. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming hybrid solar eclipse — the rarest, most intriguing, and perhaps the most spectacular and interesting type of solar eclipse worldwide.
WHAT IS A HYBRID SOLAR ECLIPSE?
A hybrid solar eclipse combines an annular and a total solar eclipse, where the former becomes the latter and then usually reverses. Therefore, observers at different points along the path of the eclipse may experience different phenomena. For example, if you observe a hybrid solar eclipse at sunrise or at sunset, you may see a brief “ring of fire.” If you watch it at noon – that is. in the middle of the path of the eclipse on the surface of the Earth – you will experience wholeness. Therefore, it is impossible to experience both an annular and a total solar eclipse during a hybrid event—you have to make a choice.
Remember, NEVER look into the sun without proper protection. Ours how to observe the sun safely the guide tells you everything you need to know about safe solar viewing. The guide also informs you what solar targets you can search for and what equipment is needed to do so.
If you want to prepare for viewing a solar eclipse, we have guides to the best cameras for astrophotographyand the best lenses for astrophotography. Ours how to photograph a solar eclipse the guide will also help you plan your next sun-gazing adventure.
WHY DO HYBRID SOLAR ECLIPSES OCCUR?
Hybrid solar eclipses occur when the distance to the moon is close to the limit for the shadow of the umbral Earth to reach, and because The earth is curved (opens in new tab). The Moon is just the right distance from Earth for the tip of its shadow cone to be slightly above the Earth’s surface at the beginning and end of the eclipse path, causing the Moon’s antumbral shadow to move across Earth, causing an annular solar eclipse . However, midway through the eclipse, the tip of the lunar umbral shadow hits the Earth’s surface because that part of the planet is slightly closer to the Moon.
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This diagram of a hybrid solar eclipse shows how the moon’s distance from Earth determines the shadow cast on Earth’s surface, from the faint penumbra of a partial solar eclipse to the deep, dark shadow of totality and the antumbra—a type of penumbra — of annularity.
WHEN IS THE NEXT HYBRID SOLAR ECLIPSE?
The next hybrid solar eclipse will occur on April 20, 2023 in the Southern Hemisphere. It will go from annular to full and back at two specific points, but both are in remote locations out at sea.
So for all intents and purposes, this will be experienced exclusively as a total solar eclipse by Western Australia’s Exmouth Peninsula (up to 1 minute), East Timor (1 minute 14 seconds) and West Papua (1 minute 9 seconds). Just before and just after totality, a large display of Bailey’s Beads it will be seen.
If you want to see the path of the eclipse, along with the time of the eclipse for each location, view this interactively eclipse map by Xavier Jubier (opens in new tab). This is one of the two solar eclipses in 2023.
WHAT ARE BAILY BEADS?
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Named for the English astronomer Francis Bayley, who observed them in the early 1800s, Bayley beads are the last rays of sunlight that can be seen streaming across the valleys of the moon just before totality. They can also be seen as the end of totality. During a hybrid solar eclipse, Bailey’s bead displays are longer because the moon is almost exactly the same apparent size as the sun.
HOW OFTEN DOES A HYBRID SOLAR ECLIPSE HAPPEN?
There are between two and five solar eclipses each year, but in the 21st century only 3.1% (opens in new tab) (7 out of 224) of the solar eclipses are hybrid solar eclipses. Between 2000 B.C. and 3000 BC only 4.8% (opens in new tab) of solar eclipses are hybrid events.
The last hybrid solar eclipse to occur was on November 3, 2013. It was visible as a total solar eclipse in central Africa, including northern Kenya and Uganda, Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cruise ships in the mid-Atlantic also experienced totality, for up to a minute.
WHAT IS ANOTHER NAME FOR A HYBRID SOLAR ECLIPSE?
Hybrid solar eclipses are often called annular-total eclipses, “toothed” solar eclipses, or “broken” annular eclipses, the latter two because they feature particularly long Bailey bead displays.
Because the moon appears to pass directly in front of the sun, hybrid solar eclipses are classified as “central” solar eclipses—as are total and annular solar eclipses—to distinguish them from partial solar eclipses.
Editor’s note: If you take an amazing photo of a solar eclipse and want to share it with Space.com readers, send the photo(s), comments, and your name and location to [email protected]
Jamie Carter is the editor of WhenIsTheNextEclipse.com (opens in new tab)
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Take a closer look at the different types of solar eclipses with this information NASA article (opens in new tab). Texas State University (opens in new tab) has a helpful list of several videos explaining the different types of eclipses.
Bikos, K. (2022, November 13). What is a hybrid solar eclipse? Downloaded on November 13, 2022 by https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/hybrid-solar-eclipse.html (opens in new tab)
Espenak, F. (2007, February 13). A catalog of five millennia of hybrid solar eclipses. Downloaded on November 13, 2022 by https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEcat5/SEhybrid5.html (opens in new tab)
Jubier, X. (2022, November 13). Five millennia (-1999 to +3000) Canon of Solar Eclipses Database. Downloaded on November 13, 2022 by http://xjubier.free.fr/en/site_pages/solar_eclipses/5MCSE/xSE_Five_Millennium_Canon.html (opens in new tab)
Nemiroff, R. and Bonnell, J. (November 3, 2013). Astronomy Picture of the Day. Downloaded on November 13, 2022 by https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap131103.html (opens in new tab)